Female security personnel regulate access to Mecca

Cairo: Saudi female security personnel help facilitate entry of the Umrah pilgrims holding permits to the holy city of Mecca.

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The female conscripts are positioned on roads at the entrances of Mecca to verify identification documents of women motorists.

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Their assignments also include checking permits issued to perform the Umrah or minor pilgrimage as well as regulating the traffic flow into the city.

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“Among the field tasks assigned to us are identity verification and checking the Umrah permits,” one female road security guard told Saudi television Al Ekhbariya.

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Saudi Arabia has set up security checkpoints at the Mecca entrances to ease access to the holy city and keep unlicensed pilgrims away.

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The holy Islamic month of Ramadan is usually a peak Umrah season.

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Saudi authorities have increased the capacity of the Grand Mosque to reach 50,000 Umrah pilgrims and 100,000 worshippers per day in current Ramadan.

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According to regulations, only “immunised” people against COVID-19 are allowed access to the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has defined the eligible “immunised” worshippers as those who have received two doses of vaccination against COVID-19; those receiving a single dose of inoculation at least 14 days in advance; and those who have recovered from the virus infection.

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The permits are obtained via the smartphone apps “Eatmarna” and “Tawakkalna”.

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